Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Seasonal Delights: Cinnamon Ornaments

Every room was alive with the scents of the solstice season. Roped pine branches curled around the railings from the keep entrance to the upper chambers. Bright red-berried mistletoe festoned the fragrant greenery and brought the gaiety of the holiday to the entire castle.

It was, as it had been for as long as I could remember, my most favorite time of year. My mother had dreamed that I would marry on the full moon of the solstice. And with the king's blessing, allowing the ceremony here at Durwain, in a small way she would be here, if only in spirit.~Winter Awakening in Winter's Desire-A. McIntyre

Like Sabeline, I have many memories of Christmas's past that bring me joy to recall and I look forward to passing them on to my grandchildren some day-until then I'd like to share them with you!

This is a "primitives" recipe that I used to make with my kids when they were small. They also make wonderful room scents all year long as you can cut them into any shape that you'd like. They add a nice touch to gift tags or to those small gifts. Especially nice for teachers, Sunday school helpers, or neighbors and attach with a box of homemade goodies!

The recipe:
1 cup of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground all-spice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1 cup of applesauce

Mix dry ingredients. Add applesauce a little at a time (Mixture should have consistency of play-dough, so you can work it with your hands.) If mixture is to dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of applesauce. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness on an ungreased surface. If mixture is too sticky to handle, sprinkle surface with a bit of cinnamon.

Use sharp-edged cookie cutters to cut out as desired. Place on level surface (I leave mine on the cookie sheet of cutting board) and air-dry for 4-5 days.(Turn them once half way through)

 Recipe makes about two dozen ornaments, depending on the size of the cookie cutter. Use the end of a straw or small round stick to create a hole that you can put wire or ribbon through after it's dry. Ornaments will lighten in color as they dry.

You'll enjoy the fresh aromatic scent for months to come, and on a tree they are really beautiful with strung cranberries and popcorn. Or for a lovely centerpiece, make a few and add to a wooden bowl filled with cloved oranges and fresh evergreen boughs!

Share your favorite ornament or decorative recipe and be entered to win a multi-author signed copy of the beautiful Winter's Desire coverflat!

Nollaig shona!



Amy C said...

Hey Amanda!
I have a recipe that my mother in law had given me YEARS ago for these! I have never made them, though :(. I think this year me and Devin will whip up a batch. He enjoys doing a little baking with me, I'm just not much of a baker :).

And you're right, they would make cute and delicious smelling accents to gifts!

Kristina Cook/Kristi Astor said...

Oh, I can totally see a bowl of these as a delicious smelling centerpiece--must go buy the ingredients ASAP! Actually, I need some holiday cookie cutters, too. This is only the second time I've done Christmas myself at home, rather than going to my parents', where they've got all the good stuff. I think it's time to buy my own holiday supplies, LOL!

Amanda McIntyre said...

Sorry I had to change the pic , I think it was messing up the header on the blog! Eeek!

They are so easy to make! No baking and most of the time those spices are sitting in my cupboard! Certainly they might as well be good for something! LOL

Hey Amy! I think primitives were a big deal a few years back and oddly this past Thanksgiving, I went with a friend on an Antique walk in a small town that does the holidays up in a big way--and I was astounded how many"antiques" were things that my mom still has!!

Perhaps the better word to use is "vintage" LOL

I see them as a very Victorian possibility also Kristi! Imagine a big white candle in a wooden or silver bowl, surrounded by oranges and cinnamon ornaments and cranberries?

We also used to get whole cloves and sit for hours, sticking those in oranges and tying festive ribbon around them to make hanging pomanders--strange looking critters when they dry up, but in the process, the scent is out of this world wonderful!! Also a good start to your own kissing ball if you're that industrious!

Killer on the fingertips however!


Cecile said...

Sorry for being MIA for a while!
Oh Ms. A! I am loving up the recipe! Thanks for the heads up!!! I am like Kristina... I am going to put this on my grocery shopping list for this weekend!

I have a recipe that is passed down my late grandmother, it is called Cinnamon cake. It is delicious. And I do not remember the ingredients off hand, but it is very easy to make. And the smell is delicious and you get to eat it!!!

There are no other cooking/baking/making traditions we have in our house. We (daughter and I) just decorate the tree together... and this year, she had homework... so my Mom came over. I think a new tradition has formed.

Happy Spirit of Christmas ladies!!!

Amanda McIntyre said...

Hey Ms C! I was thinking about you today!!

Please find that recipe if you can for Cinnamon cake! I love anything with cinnamon!! and I love how it makes the house smell when its being baked in something!!

I am big into aromatherapy!! I got one of those tabletop movie theater popcorn makers for dh one year at Valentines Day (he loves movie style popcorn) but I AM the one who makes it (I rarely eat it) but I LOVE the smell!!!


Amy C said...

I had to do some grocery shopping and i picked up some more cinnamon and applesauce. I have the stuff sitting on the counter all measured out, but I have been going non stop since I got home from work this afternoon :(. This is the first moment I've had to sit down. But I'll be back up soon for dinner. It's nice to be busy, but sometimes it really sucks when there's things I want to do :). Me and Devin will make them this evening before I retire for the night :).

I don't have any recipes to share :(. Well, I do have an excellent banana bread recipe. It's different from most in that it calls for sour cream...makes it mighty moist :). I could share that one.

Amanda McIntyre said...

that sounds delicious, Amy!! I've not made it before with sour cream!

I hear you about being busy though!
I try to avoid the "busyness" of the season as much as possible, which is not at all easy to do!

Speaking of...I need to go get my chicken and dumplings started for dinner! Thats a good recipe too!

One where I have to slap Lord CM's hand several times and not from peeking in the stewpot!


Cecile said...

I found it, I found it!! Here is my late grandmother's recipe for her Cinnamon cake!
Preheat oven to 350
2 cups of Bisquit Mix
2 Eggs
3 Heaping size Tablespoon of Cinnamon (you can put a little more - depending on how much you like cinnamon)
1 Tablespoon of Vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon of soften butter
1 cup of Sugar
The mixture should resemble a cake batter. Add water slowly to get that consistence.

Mix all ingredients together.
Spray your pan with Pam or something like that. You can bake in a 9x13 pan.
Bake for 30-35 minutes.
Let me know if you make it and how it is received!!! =)

I am with you Ms. A, I love the smells of the season. Isn't it amazing that this is the season for smells...
Hope everyone has a great day!!!

Amanda McIntyre said...

I've printed this off Ms. C, thanks for sharing!


Cecile said...

You are more than welcome my friend!!! I love sharing... especially since it is my grandmothers and I know she is in Heaven smiling that I am sharing her passion - she loved to cook & bake! So, I truly know she is in Heaven =)
Just let me know how you like it!

Kristina Cook/Kristi Astor said...

Oh, Cecile--I can't wait to try your grandmother's cinnamon cake recipe!!! Thanks for sharing!

And Amy, definitely share the banana bread recipe--never made it with sour cream, but it sounds yum!

Veronica Bennet said...

I love cooking but despite this, to Christmas I eat! And I eat a lot ^ - ^!

Whether that Christmas the day of Christmas lunches in the same family but my favorite is the 25th December. My husband and I go to dinner with my grandparents (my grandmother is a fantastic cook) and on the table has it all: lasagna, Capelletti, roast potatoes, vegetables flan and two desserts , soup English and mascarpone.
Maybe in America you do not know all these recipes but I can assure you that it's all delicious.

Amanda McIntyre said...

This sounds wonderful Veronica! Can you tell me more about what capelletti and marscapone is??

Even the words sound delicious!